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Gas find sparks major investment in exploration in Western Cape Mossel Bay could receive condensate from offshore site.


major discovery has been made at a site south-east of Mossel Bay called Brulpadda. The well encountered 57m of net gas condensate pay in Lower Cretaceous reservoirs. Following the success of the main objective, the well was deepened to a final depth of 3 633 metres and has also been successful in the Brulpadda-deep prospect. This has exciting repercussions for the emerging Western Cape oil and gas sector. As Kevin McLachlan, the Senior Vice President Exploration at Total, said at the time of the find, “With this discovery, Total has opened a new world-class gas and oil play and is well positioned to test several follow-on prospects on the same block.” Total as operator holds a 45% participating interest in Block 11B/12B, while Qatar Petroleum (25%) and CNRI (20%) are the other participants. Africa Energy holds a 4.9% effective interest in the Exploration Right for Block 11B/12B. The Company owns 49% of the shares in Main Street 1549


Proprietary Limited, which has a 10% participating interest in the block. If the local gas market is to take off and thrive, significant drilling has to take place. As the new CEO of Petroleum Agency SA, Dr Phindile Masangane, describes the situation, “That would be a game-changer for South Africa’s upstream oil and gas industry.” She added, “The recent discovery by Total and its JV partners in Block 11B/12B (Brulpadda) is the first giant step in that direction.” “Further development of the discovery is highly dependent on the success of this further drilling,” comments Dr Masangane. “Possible development could see condensate being piped to the PetroSA facility in Mossel Bay,” she adds, “but these decisions are ultimately up to the operator, Total and its partners.” Odfjell’s Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible oil rig relocated from Norway to South Africa in June 2020 to start exploratory drilling. The Luiperdpadda prospect where the rig is drilling is the second of five prospects in the group. With light oil and gas condensate having been found in the Brulpadda well, it is possible that other prospects will be found with this further drilling. The exploration drilling in Block 11B/12B is in deep waters similar to where the gigantic Mozambique Rovuma Basin gas discoveries were made in 2010. The drilling campaign has long-term benefits to South Africa which include introducing frontier deep water (>1400m) exploration drilling, building confidence and potentially shifting petroleum exploration activities to private international oil companies (IOCs), de-risking deep-water acreage. This will encourage other IOCs to take risk in drilling deep-water prospects, which could result in the country discovering more oil and gas resources.


Profile for Global Africa Network Media

Western Cape Business 2021  

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